Today I am absolutely thrilled to share with you that I'm partnering with Berkley/New American Library to bring you a giveaway of two of the best thrillers I've read recently: I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh, and THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton. 5 lucky winners will receive a copy of both books!
I have recently read and reviewed both of these incredible 2016 releases, and I was blown away by them both. I LET YOU GO is without a doubt my favorite thriller that I've read recently, and I was blown away by the originality and intelligence of THE WIDOW. You won't be able to buy these books in stores until February (THE WIDOW) and May (I LET YOU GO) of 2016, so hurry on over to the CBTB Instagram and enter to win copies of these amazing reads!
Want more information? Keep reading for abbreviated versions of my reviews of these addictive reads.
I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh
CBTB Rating: 4.5/5
I LET YOU GO by Clare Mackintosh tells the story of a mother reeling from the tragic death of her son. On a dark evening, walking her son home from school, a mother's worst nightmare comes true: he slips from her grasp and runs into the road, where he is hit by a speeding car. But the car doesn't stop—it drives off into the night, leaving the mother to watch her son die in her arms. I LET YOU GO follows a mother hiding out in a secluded cottage, attempting to heal from her son's untimely loss, and the two detectives tasked with finding the boy's killer. This story is tragic, heart-wrenching, shocking, and gasp-out-loud good.
This book is best discussed just as the author structures it: in two parts. Part One is atmospheric, contemplative, and emotional; Part Two is dark, raw, and shocking. The little details in the first half of the book that might seem tedious as you’re first reading them become hugely important in the book’s second half. Mackintosh uses Part One of the book to lay the foundation for a big reveal that the reader won’t see coming. The twists that define and propel the second half of the book are made possible by Mackintosh’s fastidious character development in the book’s first half.
I was surprised over and over by Part Two—I never saw its twists coming. But that’s not what impressed me most about this book. What impressed me most was how thoroughly Mackintosh prepared for Part Two’s twists in Part One. Trust me when I tell you, there’s a lot going on in Part Two, but it all falls into place. Every puzzle piece finds its home—granted, not how you had ever expected it would, but it does. I absolutely refuse to spoil the twists found in Part Two, so I’m going to keep my Part Two praise limited to generalities. I highly recommend reserving a whole afternoon to read Part Two, or you’ll end up like I did: hitting some crazy plot twists right before bed, and staying up way too late to finish it!
Full CBTB review can be found here.
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton
CBTB Rating: 4/5
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton tells a relatively simple story that is anything but simple in its execution. The story’s title character, Jean, is the widow of a very bad man. While her husband was alive, Jean protected his secrets and bore the harassment that came with being the wife of a suspected criminal in silence. Now that her husband has passed away, Jean has a choice to make—is it finally time to tell the world what it was like living with that man, or are some secrets better left between husband and wife?
THE WIDOW will no doubt be compared to GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, and it’s true, this book can be fit into the same “marriage-gone-wrong” category that has been so popular recently. If you’ve grown tired of those comparisons (no shame there, I have!), don’t let that dissuade you from reading this book. THE WIDOW is a refreshingly original story about the heinous secrets and dark places that can exist between a husband and wife. Told in chapters that alternate between multiple narrators and time periods, THE WIDOW presents the reader with an addictively muddled picture of Jean, her husband, and the crime he was accused of committing. Slowly but surely, the puzzle pieces fall into place—the last 30 pages of this book left me totally shocked. You’ll be hooked on Barton’s indirect way of connecting the dots and gradually revealing the solution to the story’s mystery.
At its core, THE WIDOW is a story about truth: how it can be manipulated, twisted, and hidden. Each character in the story has his or her own relationship with the truth behind the story’s main crime. The widow (Jean) has hidden and altered her knowledge of the truth; the reporter (Kate) is pursuing the truth for personal gain; the detective (Bob) is seeking the truth to solve the story’s mystery. I was totally fascinated with the idea that each character is able to take pieces of the same truth and manipulate it to fit his or her own needs. Written with nuances and maturity that set it apart from its peer suspense novels, THE WIDOW will keep you engaged and guessing until the very last page.
Full CBTB review can be found here.